“Stop. Breathe. Shift.”
by Bari Diamond
Touro College, New York City
On March 25, 2014, Peter Crimi reminded us to “stop, breathe, and shift.” Peter Crimi, an inspirational individual who grew up with cerebral palsy, shared his personal experiences with the occupational therapy program at Touro College in Manhattan. Peter took us on a journey of his life, from his initial diagnosis and therapeutic preoccupation, to his confident display of individual growth. He stated that his early commitment to treatment deterred him from the typical childhood he desired. However, with Peter’s motivation and the guidance of his environmental support, he believes and has convinced us that he has, indeed, grown up to become an “awesome” individual. Peter now works as a technology assistant at P.G. Chambers School in Cedar Knolls, NJ, the same school in which he received therapy during his childhood. His ability to share his story showcases his perseverance in adapting to the challenges of cerebral palsy, as well as emphasizes the possibility for others to similarly triumph.
Several of Touro’s first-year students agreed that Peter was both educational and inspirational in his depiction of a young boy who was given a small chance to walk and talk, yet ultimately exceeded those expectations. According to Chris DeMario, “[Peter’s] outlook on life is nothing short of amazing.” Another student, Batsheva Jacobson, stated that she “found it really inspirational that Peter didn’t allow social stigmas to interfere with his dreams of ‘being awesome.’” Amy Mograby felt that Peter “enlightened us on what it was like to grow up with cerebral palsy, yet he managed to approach it with a witty sense of humor.” It was an honor to listen to Peter’s story, and for those who did not witness him personally, Peter encourages you to “stop, breathe, and shift” in life, and everything will be okay.